Handwriting the Constitution is a social art project begun in 2017 by artist Morgan O’Hara. It invites people from all walks of life to meet in public spaces to handwrite the US Constitution or other documents written to protect human rights and freedoms. This art practice was created so that people will know their rights, deepen their understanding of laws created to protect these rights, and to help resist negative thinking. To date approximately 2000 people have participated, both nationally and internationally.
The goal of this art practice is to encourage people to hold their own Handwriting sessions on a recurring basis; to create a physical and psychological space that explores the practice of concentrated writing as an art form, and a process designed to bring people together in a quiet and calming way, all by focusing on human rights. It has been identified as a powerful and transformative form of activism for introverts.
Morgan O’Hara has been a conceptual artist for over 60 years. She has committed her life to making art which observes and renders visible aspects of the human experience of living in both 20th and 21st centuries. Handwriting the Constitution is a natural evolution from O’Hara’s drawing practice into a realm that explores the meaning of concentrated writing as an art form and a way to bring people together regardless of political leanings. Her works are in the permanent collections of many institutions including: the British Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Kupferstichkabinett Berlin, et al. www.MorganOHara.art
In 2020 during the COVID_19 lockdown / crisis, sessions were held on ZOOM which made it possible for people in different parts of thee world to handwrite and concentrate together. An interesting positive aspect of the confinement was that through ZOOM anyone anywhere in the world could participate in any session.
The Picturing the Constitution Exhibit will be on view: October 20, 2023-January 14, 2024.
Open Hours: Friday-Sunday 12-4pm, or by appointment
Katherine Gressel, Curator